Showing posts from July, 2008

Reading material for the summer.

I am busy putting pile of summer literature together.  My objective for these holidays is to take some hand-picked "work" books away with me.  To work without working! The drawing board will be staying in my studio but my sketch pad, books and camera will be all be packed with loads of TLC.Another cool new feature I've added to the right hand margin is on my bookshelf.  All the books I have featured on this bookshelf are actually physically present on my real wooden (crowed) bookshelves, some I have read. The ones I haven't are being packed. The other part of my cunning plan is to share them with you over the coming months. Many of you may have remembered I started with Rien Poortvliet back in May. (Great news: The Gnomes is most definately still available despite rumours of the contrary... Tried and tested: I ordered an extra copy just to be on the safe side...and it arrived safely.)  So, when I've finished the first books I will most definately post my reviews …

Finished portrait of giant schnauzers, new pencil drawing

Here they are Jack and Libby finished and framed.  The flip side to having worked so big was the difficulty I had in photographing the portrait.  The image is 39cm x 56 cm making it only possible to capture through digital photography. I really enjoyed creating this drawing, mainly because I was faced with new difficutlies that needed attention.  The size: when working this big I find I have to be that extra organised and careful not to dirty or damaged the paper.  (I also found that I went through quite a few pencil sharpeners as well!)The colour of the subject. I found the best way to get around the monotony the dark colour could bring was to focus on the folds and wave in the dogs coats. To focus on the way the coat shaped the dogs, their expression and facial shape. This did demanded a little more concentration and time but was well worth the effort. Srangely enough there is no such thing as pure black even when working in black and white. The third difficulty I had to overcome wa…

A great read for all artists "that can take it straight" by Hugh MacLeod

Many of you may have noticed the new widget cartoon in the right hand column.  Cool isn't it?  (and it changes very regularly...)
I had to add it to Black on Grey on White after reading the author's - Hugh MacLeod - 49 pages on "How to be creative" 

49 pages on the value of being authentic and hard working. I love his sense of humour, his bluntness and the very valid points he brings up. Somehow, I don't mind being referred to as a noodle and told that I am hiding behind pillars...
A recommended read to all that are fed up of being swamped by theories, thesis's and (supposedly) novel ideas on how to become a great artist in a heartbeat with slippers on!
A refreshing, energetic read filled with truth dished out with a big spoon. The icing on the cake: free as a pdf download generously provided by Hugh himself.
P.S: You can discover a whole lot more at

Second step of Work-in-progress of Riesenschnauzer pencil drawing.

The school holidays are in full swing and the days are somewhat shorter and faster! 

Needless to say, I'm getting very good at spinning and multitasking.... Amidst the chaos, I am finding time and energy to make it to the drawing board and open my terrific trolley drawers.  

Here is the progress I have made on the Libby. the first of the Giant Schnauzers in my double portrait. I have continued using both 6B and 3B pencils for detailing the coat and drawing in the other side of the face.  
She is finished as mush as possible for now.  The last layer is missing.  The finishing detail layer, this will add extra depth to the coat as well as give the collar a semi-mat tag. I will also adjust the  contrast by pairing it up  against Jack's portrait when I have him nearly finished.  This allows me to get everything to flow properly. I have started Jack's eye and it is looking good so I should be able to make some progress tomorrow.
Thank you for stoping  by.  
More soon.

Looking inside a graphite artists' studio.

Have you ever wondered and secretly wanted to look into an artists studio?Curious to see where the work is created?Welcome into mine (It was tidy and the light was good, perfect conditions to let the world in.)Hello and welcome!It's small (you can only stand up at the door and one metre in), it's draughty, too cold in winter, too hot in summer, one straight wall, little storage place and faces south...but I LOVE it.  It is my space, my little kingdom, my little room where I can close the door, let the music blair and draw, draw and draw.I have 2 desks, one for matting and cutting and flat work and holding my stereo, the other one is THE drawing board - it's on a slight tilt.I have a sheep skin on my chair - keeps the back pain away.  Worked for my horses - seems to works for me.
I have 2 mechanics red trolleys (they are brilliant) I love the drawers and the way they "fold" away.  The best solution for organising all my bits and bobs and being able to find them in …

The 3 incredibly important basics when exhibiting art.

Great week-end...just finishing catching up with everything!Thought I would highlight 3 important basics for exhibiting art before getting back to the drawing board. These 3 points are SO easy to organise and SO crucial for any kind of success.Take good work clean and if possible framedPut a price tag on the work (this should include at least the  title, medium and price)Have printed business cards with all your contact information.You are now shaking your head in disbelief at me pointing out such obvious points. (Points that have been made over and over again I know!) You would be surprised... I came across 8 artists that were showing their work at the week-end without one of these basics....and to add to that they left their work unattended for the day... This is where I shake my head.Sunday was an eye opener... the irony of this lack of common sense is that people don't and can't show interest in the work displayed and that the artist then ends up taking it personally.So fo…